DURHAM, N.C. -- Heralded freshman Zion Williamson made his Duke debut at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday night, putting on a show for fans at the team's annual "Countdown to Craziness" event. Afterward, coach Mike Krzyzewski downplayed concerns about potential NCAA issues that could keep his star off the court later this season.
Williamson's recruitment became fodder in the college basketball corruption trial this week when FBI tapes indicated his stepfather had asked for money and a job from Kansas. A transcript of the calls was read to the courtroom during the trial Tuesday, but the tapes were not admitted as evidence.
After Friday's scrimmage, Williamson, ESPN's No. 2 overall recruit in this year's class, said he was not following the trial and wasn't concerned with any ties he might have to the corruption scandal that has rocked the sport.
"Honestly, I've paid no attention to it," Williamson said. "I'm just a college kid, out here having fun with my classmates, looking forward to stuff like Countdown and our first game. You only get one chance at the college experience, and I want to enjoy it."
Krzyzewski said he had no concerns that those tapes would contain evidence that would endanger Williamson's eligibility and said Duke had already been through "exhaustive" background research with the NCAA.
"They have an eligibility center now that these kids and their parents go through -- and they go through everything," Krzyzewski said. "We feel very comfortable with him and all our freshmen."
On the court, Duke's freshmen made their presence known throughout the 20-minute exhibition.
Williamson dunked on his first touch and added a few highlight-reel finishes at the rim, including a pair of windmill-style dunks that whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Fans held "10" signs aloft, indicating their scoring for his performance, and after the scrimmage, Williamson was awarded the "Iron Devil" belt, a gaudy gold wrestling belt given to the top performer.
"It's a fun game to get people excited for the season, and it's probably the only time I'll have the luxury of doing that," Williamson said. "In a game, it's serious, and you do what you have to do to get points. But it was an electric atmosphere."
Williamson and fellow freshman R.J. Barrett, the top two recruits in the nation, went head-to-head, and Williamson said they enjoyed attempting to one-up each other.
Williamson finished with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting with 5 rebounds, and Barrett was 9-of-19 from the field for 23 points.
"That's what great players do," Williamson said. "They push each other to do stuff they wouldn't usually do, and we push each other to go harder."